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The Future of Lakeforest Mall

Lakeforest Mall is undergoing some major changes after it was sold for $19.1 million foreclosure auction on August 21 of 2017. Marilyn Balcombe, President of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, says it is not certain what will happen to Lakeforest Mall. However, there is a possibility that the establishment could have a mixed-use development. Lake Forest Mall has become a historical and commercial landmark to many people from Gaithersburg over the past few decades. The traditional mall has brought the community together and has been an activity center for families to spend time with each other. The mall has provided a safe environment ranging from buying daily necessities to spending many joyful times with friends. Some would even say Lakeforest Mall is the heart of Gaithersburg. It is uncertain to determine what will happen to Lakeforest Mall. However, if it becomes a mix-use development, then that will bring the community of Montgomery County closer.

Mixed-use development combines urban and suburban development. More specifically, mixed-use development areas include residential, retail and commercial aspects in one building or within a large compound. Businesses, such as retail stores, tend to reap the benefits of this type of development. The variety of locations allows for more pedestrian traffic and better exposure by attracting more potential customers. In the business world, more choices are better.

If a customer frequently visits a grocery store with a coffee mart in it, that customer is more likely to try that restaurant because of consistent and frequent exposure. A big reason why mixed-use development areas thrive is because of convenience. People who live in a residential area with a commercial area nearby tend to quickly visit those places very frequently for food, beverage or other everyday needs. The truth is no matter how fast e-commerce and technology are accelerating, the future cannot beat the present. Many customers figure that a quick trip to a local convenience store is a better option than ordering something online. It’s more productive and less time consuming. Mixed-use development is not limited to convenient stores. They can also include entertainment, cultural and institutional establishments.

Hopefully, Lakeforest Mall will become a mixed-use development area in Gaithersburg the same way Rockville Town Center became one for Rockville. There are more than 25 restaurants with attracting amenities such as a library, movie theatre, ice-skating rink and a nonprofit Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts (VisArts) which offers classes, viewing galleries and programs. The idea is to have commercial spaces, apartments and a convenient metro station within the reach of all customers.

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